THE JUDGE Review

by     Posted 13 days ago

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David Dobkin previously directed broad comedies such as Wedding Crashers and The Change-Up, and now he’s moved to broad drama with his latest feature, The Judge, a movie that clumsily grasps at every heartstring you have.  It’s a soft-focus weepy that rarely elicits any emotion.  Instead, the film feels made to showcase Robert Downey Jr‘s acting ability by proving he can do more than play variations of Tony Stark.  While the movie succeeds in showing the actor’s range, it still feels indulgent as it piles on plotlines instead of keeping the focus on the chemistry between Downey and co-star Robert Duvall.

Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall Talk THE JUDGE, Combining Humor with Drama, the Differences in Their Approach, Billy Bob Thornton, and More

by     Posted 15 days ago

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From director David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers), The Judge tells the story of big city defense attorney Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.), who returns to his hometown only to find that his estranged father, the town’s esteemed judge (Robert Duvall), is suspected of murder.  Hanks sets out to discover the truth and help his family, but no one in town wants to make it easy for him.  The film also stars Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard, Leighton Meester, Ken Howard, Balthazar Getty and David Krumholtz.

During a conference at the film’s press day, co-stars Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall talked about putting together this cast, why this was the first Team Downey film, finding the highs and lows of character, what it was like on their first day together, what surprised them about working with each other, why Billy Bob Thornton is the real deal, adding humor to the intense drama, and the talk come awards season.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Director David Dobkin Talks THE JUDGE, Directing Robert Downey Jr. & Robert Duvall, Extended Cuts, the VACATION Reboot, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., More

by     Posted 16 days ago

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Opening this weekend is director David Dobkin’s upcoming drama, The JudgeRobert Downey Jr. plays an attorney who returns home for his mother’s funeral only to learn that his estranged father (Robert Duvall), a judge who suffers from Alzheimer’s, has been accused of murder.  The film marks a departure for Dobkin, who has previously helmed comedies such as Wedding Crashers, Fred Claus and The Change-Up, and it’s also a big debut of sorts for Downey Jr.—The Judge is the first film released under his production banner Team Downey, which he runs with his wife and producing partner Susan Downey.  The film also stars also stars Vera FarmigaBilly Bob Thornton, Vincent D’OnofrioJeremy StrongDax ShepardLeighton MeesterKen Howard, David KrumholtzBalthazar Getty, and Denis O’Hare.  For more on The Judge, watch the trailer or these eight clips.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed a video interview with David Dobkin.  He talked about what it was like directing Downey Jr. and Duvall, filming in Massachusetts, his first cut, why he hates extended cuts and how he won’t be doing any in the future, shooting on film, and more.  In addition, with Dobkin producing the Vacation reboot, he talked about what it’s about and how impressed he was with John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein‘s script.  Hit the jump to watch.

Robert Downey Jr. Goes Dramatic Opposite Robert Duvall in 8 Clips from THE JUDGE

by     Posted 23 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a batch of eight The Judge clips from director David Dobkin’s (Wedding Crashers) upcoming drama.  Robert Downey Jr. plays an attorney who returns home for his mother’s funeral only to learn that his estranged father (Robert Duvall), a judge who suffers from Alzheimer’s, has been accused of murder.  The film marks a major departure for Dobkin, who has previously helmed comedies like Fred Claus and The Change-Up, and it’s also a big debut of sorts for Downey Jr.—The Judge is the first film released under his production banner Team Downey, which he runs with his wife and producing partner Susan Downey.  These clips offer a good snapshot of the film’s tone, which is certainly dramatic but also tinged with Downey’s signature quick-witted sense of humor.

Watch the Judge clips after the jump.  The film also stars Vera FarmigaBilly Bob Thornton, Vincent D’OnofrioJeremy StrongDax ShepardLeighton MeesterKen HowardDavid KrumholtzBalthazar Getty, and Denis O’Hare.  The Judge opens in theaters on October 10th.

Robert Downey Jr. Has Father Issues in New THE JUDGE Trailer

by     Posted 35 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a new The Judge trailer for director David Dobkin’s upcoming drama, and it goes rather heavy on the sentimentality.  Robert Downey Jr. plays an attorney who returns home for his mother’s funeral only to learn that his estranged father (Robert Duvall), a judge who suffers from Alzheimer’s, has been accused of murder.  Reviews out of the film’s TIFF premiere weren’t great and this trailer lays on the schmaltz pretty hard, but Downey Jr. still manages to be engaging.  I was also somewhat surprised to find out that Steven Spielberg’s longtime collaborator Janusz Kaminski was the cinematographer on the pic, marking another rare foray outside of his Spielberg partnership.

Watch the new The Judge trailer after the jump.  The film also stars Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax ShepardLeighton MeesterKen HowardDavid KrumholtzBalthazar Getty, and Denis O’Hare.  The Judge opens in theaters on October 10th.

New Trailer for THE JUDGE Amplifies the Drama, Puts Robert Downey Jr. in Crisis

by     Posted 41 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for director David Dobkin’s (Wedding Crashers) upcoming thriller/family drama The Judge.  Robert Downey Jr. plays an attorney who returns home for his mother’s funeral only to learn that his estranged father (Robert Duvall), a judge who suffers from Alzheimer’s, has been accused of murder.  This new look at the film has a decidedly more emo, awards-baiting, tone than the first trailer.  I’m curious to see the film myself, as I can sit through a bad movie just for a good Downey Jr. performance, but the early word out of TIFF has not been kind (I suspect that we’ll have our own review of this one up soon).

Hit the jump to check out the new trailer for The Judge.  The film also stars Vera FarmigaVincent D’OnofrioJeremy StrongBilly Bob ThorntonDax ShepardLeighton MeesterKen HowardDavid KrumholtzBalthazar Getty, and Denis O’Hare.  The Judge opens in theaters on October 10th.

WEDDING CRASHERS Director David Dobkin in Talks to Helm Hugh Hefner Biopic for Warner Bros.

by     Posted 308 days ago

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The Hugh Hefner biopic is moving forward once again.  Universal and Imagine Entertainment initially set up a film about the Playboy founder a few years ago and even approached Robert Downey Jr. and Hugh Jackman about playing the title role, but the film never coalesced and Universal subsequently put it into turnaround.  The project is now taking hold at Warner Bros., where Variety reports that Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin is in talks to take the helm with Peter Morgan (Rush, Frost/Nixon) penning the screenplay.  Hit the jump for more.

Robert Duvall to Star Alongside Robert Downey Jr. in THE JUDGE; Amy Ryan Joins Alejandro González Iñárritu’s BIRDMAN

by     Posted 1 year, 223 days ago

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We’ve got a couple of exciting casting stories to share this afternoon.  First up, Robert Duvall is signing on to co-star with Robert Downey Jr. in the dramedy The Judge.  The folks at Variety report that Duvall is in final negotiations to play Downey Jr.’s father in the pic, which centers on an attorney who returns home for his mother’s funeral where he learns that his estranged father, a judge who suffers from Alzheimer’s, is suspected of murder.  Last fall we heard that Warner Bros. was attempting to coax Jack Nicholson to take on the father role and Tommy Lee Jones was apparently also in the mix, but Duvall won out in the end.

Hit the jump for more, including who’s in the running for the female lead and casting news for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s star-studded comedy Birdman.

Jack Nicholson Recruited to Serve as Robert Downey Jr.’s Father in THE JUDGE

by     Posted 1 year, 342 days ago

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When last we reported on director David Dobkins’ dramedy The Judge, it was to announce that Bill Dubuque had come on to do a rewrite and that Robert Downey Jr. was producing the picture as a starring vehicle. Now it looks as if Warner Bros. has extended an unofficial offer to Jack Nicholson to play Downey Jr.’s father in the film. Originally penned by Nick Schenk with an intermediate rewrite from David Seidler, The Judge centers on an attorney who returns home for his mother’s funeral only to discover that his estranged father, a judge who suffers from Alzheimer’s, is suspected of murder. Hit the jump for more, including how Nicholson’s fussy track record of selecting roles may impact The Judge.

Ed Helms in Talks to Star as Rusty Griswold in VACATION

by     Posted 2 years, 102 days ago

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It looks as if Ed Helms will be playing Rusty Griswold in New Line’s Vacation after all.  Rumors swirled earlier this year that Helms would be taking on the lead role in the continuation of the Vacation franchise, but when Steve asked him back in March if he was involved with the film he said he hadn’t had any conversations about the film.  Horrible Bosses screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein signed on to direct their own script back in February, and now Helms has officially entered negotiations to star.  Hit the jump for more.

Robert Downey Jr. to Star in Davin Dobkin’s Dramedy THE JUDGE; Bill Dubuque to Rewrite Script

by     Posted 2 years, 200 days ago

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We last heard about The Judge a year ago when David Seidler, basking in the glow of his Oscar win for The King’s Speech, signed on to rewrite the dramedyDavid Dobkin (The Change-Up) is set to direct and produce alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey.  In a report on Bill Dubuque coming in to do another rewrite, Deadline mentions that The Judge is now planned as a starring vehicle for Downey.  The story, originally scripted by Nick Schenk (Gran Torino), centers on an attorney who returns home for his mother’s funeral.  He learns that his estranged father, a judge who suffers from Alzheimer’s, is suspected of murder.

Downey will film Iron Man 3 in a few weeks on the heels of the May 4 release of The Avengers.  After that, there’s a long list of projects the actor is attached to, including Tim Burton’s Pinocchio, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, and the Perry Mason reboot.  It seems unlikely The Judge will shoot to the top of the list, and Dobkin’s immediate focus is on Arthur & Lancelot.  But it could be a nice change of pace if and when Downey seeks a smaller production among these giant superhero tentpoles.  I’d nudge him toward Inherent Vice if I had a vote.

Colin Farrell Out of ARTHUR & LANCELOT

by     Posted 2 years, 206 days ago

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While it seemed like Warner Bros.’ production of Arthur & Lancelot was finally on track with Colin Farrell (Phone Booth) set to star as Lancelot, the actor has reportedly pulled out due to scheduling issues. The troubled picture by writer/director David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) has gone through a spate of casting issues as of late and was recently put on hold by the studio citing budgetary issues. Previously circulating actors include Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), Joel Kinnaman (The Killing), Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight) and Marion Cotillard (Inception). The studio is reportedly eager to finalize a cast and we should be hearing more news on that front shortly. Hit the jump for more on the troubles of Arthur & Lancelot.

Warner Bros. Puts ARTHUR & LANCELOT Back on Track with Colin Farrell in Talks to Star

by     Posted 2 years, 221 days ago

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For a while there it looked like Arthur & Lancelot was destined to linger in development hell for the next several years. Warner Bros. put the project in motion last year with David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers, The Change-Up) set to direct his own script. The pic landed a couple of promising leads—Game of Thrones star Kit Harington as Arthur and The Killing star Joel Kinnaman as Lancelot—but the studio abruptly put the project on hold just before its January start date to address budget issues. When Harington and Kinnaman signed on to other projects (Haringon to The Seventh Son and Kinnaman as the lead in the Robocop remake), the film looked to be in doubt given that both would have to return to their respective TV series later this year. Cue: Colin Farrell. Hit the jump for more.

Warner Bros. Puts ARTHUR & LANCELOT on Hold; Pushes JACK THE GIANT KILLER 3D Back to 2013

by     Posted 2 years, 276 days ago

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Not long after Warner Bros. was reportedly getting cold feet with the swelling budget of David Dobkin’s Arthur & Lancelot, it looks like the studio has officially hit the pause button. The film, starring Kit Herington (Game of Thrones) and Joel Kinnaman (The Darkest Hour) in a reimagined Arthurian legend, was supposed to open March 15, 2013. Dobkin (The Wedding Crashers) reportedly informed cast and crew that it “wasn’t looking good,” although studio insiders confirm they’re trying to make the project work. Warner envisions the tone of Arthur & Lancelot to be in a similar vein to their Sherlock Holmes franchise, but will have to negotiate budget and scheduling difficulties. Herington, will return to Game of Thrones this spring while Kinnaman is expected to segue into the film shoot after wrapping on AMC’s The Killing. The project may move forward without one or both of the actors. Hit the jump for news regarding the delay of Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Killer 3D and Rock of Ages.

David Dobkin’s ARTHUR & LANCELOT Could Be Nixed if Budget Isn’t Lowered

by     Posted 2 years, 313 days ago

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Warner Bros. shelled out $2 million for the script to the Arthur & Lancelot and attached Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin to helm the potential tentpole flick.  However, when WB bought the movie, they thought they were looking at a $90 million flick, especially since they had saved money by hiring rising actors Joel Kinnaman (The Killing) and Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) to play the leads.  But Deadline reports that the studio is getting cold feat as the budget has ballooned to possibly $130 million.  Warner Bros. has reached the point where they’re willing to let Dobkin take the film to another studio that’s willing to foot the bill.  It’s not difficult to see Warners’ logic when you have two affordable but unproven stars and the continuing trend of declining ticket sales.

Hit the jump for a refresher on how Warner Bros. isn’t alone in willing to drop project in order to save costs.

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